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Qatar in diplomatic push to revive Iran nuclear deal

Qatari state media quoted Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani [Getty]

Date of publication: 11 February, 2021

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Qatar’s top diplomat signaled his country’s role as a mediator in the Iran-US crisis.
Qatar is engaging in diplomatic efforts for a return to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal with world powers, state media reported on Wednesday, in a bid to cool regional tensions.

"The State of Qatar is working on de-escalation through a political and diplomatic process to return to the nuclear agreement," Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al-Thani said, according to state news agency QNA.

The statement came after two separate calls this week between Qatar's top diplomat and Washington's special representative for Iran Robert Malley and National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan, according to Reuters.

US President Joe Biden's administration is considering a revival of the nuclear deal between Iran and world powers, which was abandoned by former President Donald Trump in 2018, who reimposed crippling sanctions on Tehran.

Read more: In Iran standoff, Biden says US won't unilaterally lift sanctions

Al-Thani signaled Qatar's role as a potential mediator, saying that the Gulf state was communicating with both Iran and the US, given the strategic ties which bind both countries to Doha.

Last month, the signing of the "Al-Ula Declaration" ended a three-year dispute between Gulf Arab states and Qatar.

Saudi Arabia the UAE, Bahrain and Egypt, cut diplomatic with Doha in June 2017 and enacted a blockade, claiming that Qatar was backing Islamist groups and was too close to Iran - charges Doha strongly denied.

The quartet agreed to reestablish ties following a flurry of diplomatic activity during the final months of the Trump administration, which included normalisation deals involving Israel and Arab states.


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